Isaiah House offers FDA-approved opioid treatment devices

FDA approved device to help with acute opioid withdrawal symptoms
Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 26, 2024

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — A new device to treat opioid addiction in only a week is now FDA-approved, and Kentucky is the first state in the country to offer the device.

For the last 53 years, NET Recovery has gone through a multitude of iterations to perfect its Neuro Electrode Transmitter device that will alleviate withdrawal systems in opioid users. After a two-year double-blind randomized trial, the device was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2023.

Kentucky is the first state in the nation to offer 30 devices at Isaiah House, a women's and men's recovery center in Mercer County.

The device is the size of a phone and has wires hooked up to it that are connected to electrodes placed behind each ear. Signals are then sent to the brain, which allows the brain to restart producing its own dopamine and serotonin without the need for drugs.

"Many people in addiction fear the withdrawal symptoms. One of the reasons they don't get help is because they fear or they have experienced the sickness that comes when you stop using a particular substance," explains Mike Cox, the COO of Isaiah House.

"And it can be addressed more easily when the person's not craving or withdrawing, and so the NET device ultimately gives the patient a choice," says Owen Fielding, an independent consultant for the NET. "Do I want to use drugs? Do I want to use medication first time in my life? Or do I want to remain drug free?"

According to Fielding, the treatment eases withdrawal symptoms in five days and eventually places the user at zero tolerance. Each patient gets to control their treatment and its intensity. The devices are built to be a one-time treatment; once that patient has completed their treatment, the next patient can use the device.

"They can eat. They typically will sleep, you know we're talking about from day one and even on day three which is peak opioid withdrawal," Fielding describes. "People will be relaxed, they'll be eating, they'll be sleeping, they'll be engaged with the program."

Isaiah House has already helped several patients overcome their addiction who are still sober to this day.

"I've witnessed clients that normally would be very sick for several days and within 24 hours they're eating and engaging in activities and it's been amazing," explains Cox. "We sometimes have used that word. It's nothing short of miraculous for some people to see the quick change."

Although it puts a user on the path to recovery, leaders with NET and Isaiah House stress that you're not cured. Everything that comes with addiction needs to be addressed, and still using resources to keep you on the right track is essential to staying sober.

"Do not return to drug use because your tolerance for opioids is literally zero. So going back to even taking half a bite of heroin to test it is a bad idea," says Fielding.

To be eligible for one of the 30 devices, you must be 18 years or older and examined by Isaiah House's medical team.

Leaders with the NET hope to one day expand the number of devices given across Kentucky, and allow more states to offer them.